Sonoma County Harvest Fair

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Off-Track Betting at the Jockey Club

Jockey Club Facility

Kentucky Derby

Get Lucky with the Kentucky Derby!

Come to the Jockey Club on Friday, May 5th for the Kentucky Oaks, Live from Churchill Downs! Admission is $3 and FREE All Day for women wearing a hat! Advanced Wagering on the Kentucky Derby will be available on Friday, including wagering on the Oaks/Derby Daily Double.

And don’t forget Saturday, the Grand Daddy of them all, the 143rd Kentucky Derby. We will offer complimentary roses to all women with paid attendance, and the Jockey Club will offer FREE prize giveaway drawings.

Kentucky Derby Day Drawing Prizes Include:

  • A Preakness Stakes Day Turf Club Table for 4
  • Award Winning Harvest Fair Wine
  • Betting vouchers
  • Passes for the 2017 Sonoma County Fair, and MUCH MORE!

Kentucky Derby Primer

By Michael Patricks

With less than three weeks until the 143rd Kentucky Derby, it’s time to examine the headliners for Derby Day who have stamped their names on the Twin Spires overheard marquee. The field of 20 runners is still being decided, but we know some of the heavyweights scheduled to run. The top 20 points earners are eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby, so long as they are Triple Crown nominated. Should scratches or defections occur other horses may draw into the race based on the number of points they have accrued. View the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard

Don’t forget to check out my weekly blog on the Grapevine, the official Blog of the Sonoma County Fair. Each week I handicap a prominent race from throughout the country, endeavor to give you the winner and hopefully entertain you in the process. The weekly installments are typically posted on Friday afternoons. My full preview of the Kentucky Derby will be posted no later than the morning of Friday, May 5th.

In the meantime, here’s a vignette on those certain to garner the most chatter heading into Louisville:

  • Classic Empire
  • Owner: John C. Oxley
  • Trainer: Mark Casse
  • Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Classic Empire struts into the starting gate as the 2016 two-year-old champion and likely morning line favorite for the Run for the Roses. Classic Empire was impressive in his debut and followed that up by taking down Grade III runners at Saratoga. In the Hopeful, he wheeled and lost his rider at the start but bounced back nicely off that albatross, slaying the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland before prevailing in a long drive over Not This Time in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. 2017 did not start nearly as charming. Classic Empire melted down both in the paddock and at the gate for the Holy Bull before suffering a foot abscess during the race, causing his connections to back off and let him mend both mind and body. Classic Empire did vindicate his reputation as a top three-year-old by taking home the Grade I Arkansas Derby in his most recent start, proving quite tenacious through the stretch while minding his manners at Oaklawn Park. Expect Classic Empire to be a tepid favorite on Derby Day, but will he stay cool, calm and collected? The jury is most definitely out.

  • Girvin
  • Owner: Brad Grady
  • Trainer: Joe Sharp
  • Jockey: Mike Smith

Girvin has done nothing wrong in his brief, four-start career. He won his maiden race at the Fair Grounds impressively and the plan was to run him in the LeComte. However, due to a viral breakout Fair Grounds was under quarantine so Girvin had to wait to run until the quarantine was lifted. Girvin was forced to run on grass in an allowance event and ran a good second after closing into soft fractions. His breakout performance took place in the Risen Star Stakes just three weeks later, powering home in deep stretch to prevail at 8/1. Girvin came back in the Louisiana Derby with another Grade II score and lures Mike Smith over to ride since his regular pilot Brian Hernandez Jr. has opted for McCraken. Girvin will have to prove he can ship to a new venue and be just as effective as he has been in Louisiana. The move to Mike Smith will only bolster his appeal for many inclined to side with the “Ice Man” on Derby Day.

  • Always Dreaming
  • Owner: Brooklyn Boyz Stables
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: John Velazquez

Took a few starts for this colt to figure it out but he’s now taken three straight races by combined margins of better than 20 lengths. Like his father Bodemeister, Always Dreaming prefers to do his best work up front and will be one of the likely torch bearers as they run under the Twin Spires the first time. Always Dreaming put himself on the map with a five length score in the Florida Derby, having his way with post time favorite Gunnevera at Gulfstream Park, a track which has proven to be quite a burial ground for favorites this Spring in three-year-old prep races. Always Dreaming over raced a bit in the Florida Derby and that’s something he’ll have to avoid at all costs on the first Saturday in May. Todd Pletcher devotees figure to be banging quite hard against this guy’s door in aspirations of turning Derby dreams into the splendor of race day reality.

Race Schedules

Watch and wager at the Jockey Club!

Great seating, delicious food and serious horse racing all month. Enjoy live thoroughbred horse racing from the best tracks in the U.S. and beyond in our comfy club with more than 100 big screens & TVs. In addition to heart-pounding racing excitement, we offer parties, specials, giveaways & much more!

Jockey Club Simulcast Calendar

1450 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa
(707) 524-6340

Picks and Tips from the Pros

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Get year-round analysis of big race contenders by "Morning Line" Michael Patricks for off-track betting at the Jockey Club, as well as picks and tips from Dennis Miller during our live race meet at Wine Country Racing (August 3 - August 20, Select Dates).

Never played the ponies? No Problem! Our pari-mutuels are available to assist you with your wager.
Beginner's Guide to Racing

Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds

Jockey Club Hours & Admission

Jockey Club


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Thursday
10:00 AM - 11:30 PM, Friday - Sunday
Closed Monday - Wednesday


FREE Thursdays & Fridays (except special events)
$3 Saturdays & Sundays (FREE after 6:00 PM)


FREE most of the year
$8 during the Fair


  • Doors open at 7:15 AM, both Friday & Saturday
  • Kentucky Oaks: Friday, May 5th Race 11—Post Time: 2:49 PM
  • Kentucky Derby: Saturday, May 6th Race 12—Post Time: 3:46 PM
  • General Admission: $3 each day
  • Turf Club Friday: $6 per person
  • Turf Club Saturday: $15 per person or $50 for a table of 4
  • Derby Weekend special: Purchase advance Turf Club Table tickets for 4 on Saturday and receive Friday’s Turf Club Tickets for the Kentucky Oaks and admission for your table ABSOLUTELY FREE. Call 707-524-6340 today and purchase your table while supplies last.

Relax in the Turf Club

Turf Club

Enjoy a VIP experience at the Jockey Club. The Turf Club offers table side service so that you can stay focused on the race. Beat the lines and make your Turf Club reservation today.


$3 plus Regular Admission ($6 total)
$15 each or $50 for a table of 4 for Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont or Breeders Cup races

Turf Club tickets for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes are available now!
Call (707) 524-6340.

Food & Drinks

Big Boy's BBQ

In between races enjoy the snack bar & full bar.
On weekends, the Turf Club features food specials from Big Boy's Bar-B-Que.

Big Boy's Bar-B-Que Sample Menu
(subject to change)

Quick Links

Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds
1350 Bennett Valley Road - Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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